Introduction to Palmistry


Palmistry has a long history, originating in the East, with writings on palmistry found from India, China, Japan, and Korea. It dates back approximately 5,000 years ago, according to The Palmistry Bible, by Jane Struthers. It was slow to spread to the West but gained momentum around the 19th century when many people developed an interest in spirituality and the occult.

What is Palmistry?

You can’t hide your true character from a palmist, as long as he or she can see your hands. Palmistry uses the size and shape of the hand (chirognomy), as well as the lines on the palms (chiromancy) to determine a persons character and personality traits, as well as some information about events in that person’s life. But it’s not just something you learn in order to evaluate others. You can also use it to learn about yourself, where your limitations and strengths lie, and about the events that affected or will affect you, allowing you to make more informed decisions about the paths you wish to take.

Palmistry complements astrology, as I found out when I spoke with Alan Annand, Vedic Astrologer and Palmist, who sees clients at his home office in Toronto, as well as teaches classes there. Annand has been using palmistry to enhance his consultations with his clients for approximately ten years and splits the consultations into 80% astrology and 20% palmistry.

Can You Use Palmistry to Predict the Future?

In the past, palm reading has been associated with fortune telling, but when asked if palmistry can be used to predict the future, Annand is hesitant to say that it can and says that he doesn’t try to do that. He talks about timelines in the hand on certain lines, such as the lifeline, and explains that there is some ability to talk about things that can happen at various ages in a person’s life. Most times he says he doesn’t use palmistry to do that.

If one does not have astrology as the tool for prediction, The Palmistry Bible does discuss the possibility of using the lines in the hand to predict problems that lie ahead, which would allow you to avoid them. The book also suggests that lines on the hand will change as the future alters from actions taken.

When asked about lines in the hand changing, Annand replies, “Major lines are not really going to change their direction. They can change their depth, their clarity, their colouring. People get sick and their whole lifeline could virtually disappear. Minor lines, which were not evident when you were 30, can be fully blown and very evident at age 40.”

Does the Length of the Lifeline Indicate How Long You Will Live?

The lifeline begins between the thumb and the index finger and curves around the base of the thumb. Many people think that the length of the lifeline can be used to predict lifespan, but in actuality, this is not the case. The Palmistry Bible stresses that the quality of the lifeline is more important than the length of the lifeline, as it indicates physical energy. A strong but short lifeline could indicate a longer life than one that is long but weak and broken.

According to Annand, “My teacher has always said, It’s not the length of the lifeline that matters more. It’s integrity. There may be an appearance of length. But there may be a huge, unmitigated break in it halfway down the line, which might mean life comes to an end at 40. Anyway, the length of the line has no correlation with the length of the life.”

Suggestions for Finding a Palm Reader

If you are interested in finding someone to read your palm, Annand has the following suggestions: “See what you find in your locality, and ask them if they are self-taught, or if they had a teacher. Who has taught them, and how much time did they spend on their studies? How much experience do they have? That’s like with anything. You follow the same rule with astrologers, too.”

Annand suggests that getting a palm reading every year is not necessary, as the lines of the hand do not change frequently. For strictly a palm reading, years can go by and nothing more substantive can be gleaned from another palm reading. This is where astrology can help. He says, “With astrology, it’s different. There is always a new perspective to be taken because there is more of a dynamic evolution in astrology. Even though astrology is a snapshot of a chart, there is stuff going on that influences. There is more of a dynamic element of it That’s ongoing all the time, as opposed to palmistry where it really is more of a static thing.”

Palmistry fascinates because it reveals personality traits and tells us things about ourselves even when we’d rather keep those things hidden. It displays a road map of the past, illustrates the present, and hints at the future. Anyone working on self-awareness and personal growth would find it worthwhile to have his or her palm read. The information from a palm reading will provide insights into your personality that you can use immediately. If you learn to read palms yourself, then you will have valuable skills that can help you in any interactions you have with others, including in business.


Image: Palm Sketch, Courtesy of Alan Annand

Annand, Alan. Navamsa (Accessed April 27, 2011).

Struthers, Jane. The Palmistry Bible: The Definitive Guide to Hand Reading, New York: Sterling, 2005.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional. Before beginning any health or diet program, consult your physician.